School group field trip

School Group Programs

Field Trips and Outreach Programs

Designed with state educational standards in mind, Delaware State Parks school programs offer students aged preschool to high school the opportunity to discover hands-on experiences that compliment classroom learning. Plan a field trip to a Delaware State Park or invite park interpreters to you for in-school programs throughout the year that can be tailored for schoolwide assemblies or small classrooms. Satisfy state standards in science, history, and mathematics while bringing your lessons to life

How to Plan a State Park Field Trip

Taking your students on a field trip is a great experience, but it takes a little time to research and plan the best trip for your class. For some students, this may be their first trip into the outdoors. Set your students up for success by visiting the park’s website and sharing the adventure with your class.

This information will help you with the registration process and pre-trip preparation needed to make your trip a success. If at any time during your field trip experience you have questions or requests, talk to the park interpreter. Interpreters want the best experience for your group and will do all they can to ensure your class’ success.

One way to get the most for your field trip dollar is to book multiple programs at parks that are near each other. The park interpreters are happy to work together to coordinate programs like these.

Contacting Delaware State Parks and Registering For Your Program

Setting up a field trip is a big job. We know your time is limited, so Delaware State Parks has made it as easy as possible for you to secure your date and prepare your students.

Once you have found programs that you are interested in, use the contact information at the top of the park page to reserve your classroom.

Choosing a Date

When choosing your dates, think about what time of year you would like to make your visit. Most teachers like to plan field trips in the spring, between mid-April and mid-June. The weather in the spring can make for a great field trip, but can sometimes conflict with testing. The fall can also be a popular time to book trips as the weather begins to change. Plan early to make sure you get the dates you want for your group.

Consider booking your field trip in the late fall, winter or early spring. If your program is not weather- or season- specific, you may have additional flexibility than in more popular months.

If you are planning to visit during the peak field trip months, you might find more flexibility scheduling afternoon start times for your programs. Most schools visit in the morning because bus schedules dictate their window of opportunity. If you have some flexibility in your day, or if you are registering for an overnight program at a park that offers them, an afternoon start time will ensure more available program dates.

Grant and Foundation Funding


Some of the Delaware State Parks offer scholarship money to cover student participation fees. Some even have money available to cover bus costs, often the largest per student cost for field trips. These funds are available through the park Friends groups. Check with the park that you are interested in visiting to learn more about who qualifies and how to apply.


Generally, it is best to plan for buses to arrive on-site 15 minutes before your scheduled program time. That will allow you and your students time to get off the bus and take care of any housekeeping issues that need to be addressed. The park interpreter will establish a meeting location and bus parking during the registration process.


Lunch can be a great opportunity for students to take a break from learning — sometimes lunch can be as much of an event as the actual program! The park interpreter can identify picnic tables or areas available to your group to eat and play.

Trash-Free Parks

All Delaware State Parks have a carry-in, carry-out trash policy. If you choose not to reserve a pavilion, you will need to bring trash bags for your lunch trash so you can take it with you and dispose of it back at school. If you rent a pavilion, trash collection is provided as part of your rental fee.

Booking Multiple Programs/Parks

How to Prepare Your Students for a State Parks Field Trip

The best way to insure that your students will get the most out of your class field trip is to prepare everyone involved. If your students and their chaperones are well prepared, they are more comfortable with what can be a new experience. Here are some suggestions for how best to prepare for your special day.

Pre-Visit Activities

There are several ways to prepare your students for the content that they will be learning during their program. One way is to check out the park’s outreach programs to complement your field trip. Coupling an outreach and on-site program could get you discounted rates on both.

Park Manners

Stay with your group and listen to your leader.

Stay on pathways and trails.

Follow directions and ask questions.

Respect the rights of other living things in the park. All of our visitors, animals and plants are important to us. They deserve the right to enjoy the day just as you are.

Clothing Requirements

When your class visits a Delaware State Park, you will spend a large portion of the day outside. Students and chaperones should dress for the weather and be prepared to get dirty. They should wear flat, closed-toe shoes (like sneakers), regardless of the weather. If the weather report calls for rain or snow, everyone should come prepared for wet and muddy feet. If your program takes place on or near a body of water, your students might get muddy feet even on the sunniest day. Make sure your students and chaperones dress accordingly.

Working With Chaperones

Be very honest about your expectations for the field trip. Outline the day, your planned activities and any clothing requirements that you might have for your students and chaperones. Explain what their role in the field trip will be and what you expect of them. Explain your wishes regarding electronics and use of phones during the field trip.

Don’t forget grandparents and aunts and uncles. Sometimes close relatives are happy to spend the day with their young one when parents are unable to attend.

Field Trips

Outreach Programs

REECH Program

REECH offers a custom hands-on, learning experience over a 2-day, 1-night period. Students collect samples, take measurements, make observations, and record data, with the goal of understanding how well the coastal ecosystem is functioning. The following Delaware state standards are addressed:

LS2.A – Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
LS2.B – Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
LS2.C – Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning and Resilience
LS2.D – Biodiversity and Humans